Where is Mine Honor? (Sermon)

Resource Description

Topic: “Where is Mine Honor?”

Thesis: “We are to show respect for God’s service”

Introduction:

  • Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament, written approximately 400 years before Christ came.
  • Written to the post-exilic Jews.
  • The children of Israel had recently returned from captivity under the blessing of the Kings of Persia.
  • They had the opportunity, despite the opposition they faced, to rebuild the city, the temple of God and the walls of Jerusalem, under the leadership of men like Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah and with the help of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah.
  • These post-exilic Jews returned with a resolve to put away idolatry from them.
  • You’ll find that from this point onwards, Israel had no problem with idolatry—the worship of images and heathen gods for they knew that this was the reason God allowed them to go in captivity.
  • However, although all the altars to foreign gods were destroyed, it would seem that idolatry took on a new form in Israel.
  • Post-exilic Israel suffered from a lack of self-esteem that led them to totally disregard and show contempt to the service of God.
  • These are the evils that Malachi spoke out against and addressed in his book to the Israelites.
  1. It would seem that because their experience in restoring the services of the temple were not marked by the glory and splendor of former years, Israel lost sight of the sacredness of God’s work and began to show contempt for it.
    1. “A spirit of dull depression had settled over the inhabitants of Jerusalem; skepticism and spiritual indifference held the people in their grasp.… The flood of skepticism abroad in the land affected both the people and their religious leaders. Religion became largely a matter of ritual. Apathy and stinginess toward God prevailed” (Ellsworth, R. (2007). Opening up Malachi (13). Leominster: Day One Publications.)
    2. The setting up of their temple was not like:
      1. The tabernacle in the wilderness, when the glory of God filled the temple. Exodus 40:33, 34—“And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
        1. The Shekinah glory of God was not seen in the temple. As a matter of fact the Ark of the Covenant was not returned after the Babylonian exile.
        2. There were no pillar of cloud by day nor pillar of fire by night
        3. Fire did not come down to consume the sacrifices or those who showed contempt for it.
      2. Solomon’s temple
        1. 1 Kings 8:10, 11—the glory of God filled the temple.
        2. See also 2 Chron. 5:13, 14
      3. When the old men, who knew Solomon’s temple saw the one that was rebuilt after the captivity, they wept bitterly (Ezra 3:8-13; Haggai 2:2, 3).
    3. Therefore, the people did not esteem the service of God as they should.
      1. These are some of the practices that Malachi cried out against.
        1. “God doesn’t love us” (Malachi 1:1, 2).
        2. “The table of the Lord is detestable” (therefore, they had no regard for regulations in regards to the type of sacrifices they offered; they gave the Lord any and everything) (Malachi 1:6-8, 14).
  2. In regards to the service of God, you say, “oh, what weariness”. Therefore, they bring all manner of lame and sick sacrifices to the Lord (Malachi 1:12, 13).
    1. The priests lost sight of their sacred word; they forsook the Covenant of Levi (Malachi 2:5-9).
    2. They disregarded the holy seed by contracting marriages with the heathen nations around them. They did not regard it as anything special to be an Israelite (Malachi 2:11; Deuteronomy 7:3, 4).
    3. They showed contempt to the Marriage Covenant by divorcing their wives (I guess) for flippant reasons (Malachi 2:13-16).
    4. They lost their sense of morality, in that they exalt those who do evil. They questioned the justice of God. They said, “everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord.” (Malachi 2:17)
    5. They have turned from the ordinances of God and have not kept them (Malachi 3:7).
    6. They have robbed God by withholding the tithes and offerings from the treasury (Malachi 3:8-11).
    7. They have claimed that, “it is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts?” (Malachi 3:13-14).
    8. Some of these practices were highlighted in the books of Nehemiah and Ezra:
      1. Disregard for the temple of God (Nehemiah 13:1-5)
      2. Unfaithfulness in returning the Tithe (Nehemiah 13:10, 11; Malachi 3:8-10)
      3. Sabbath breaking (Nehemiah 13:15-22)
      4. Intermarriage between Israelites and Canaanites (Nehemiah 13:23-28; Ezra 9 & 10; Malachi 2:10, 11.
    9. I guess, the people continued in their evil practices, for they did not see God destroying anyone for doing so. 
      1. Ecclesiastes 8:11, 12—“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his [days] be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
      2. Application:
        1. How do we show contempt to the service of God?
        2. Because we do not see:
          1. The working of the Holy Spirit as in the early Church
          2. God striking down people as He did with Ananias and Saphira
          3. Miracles being wrought; the sick healed; the dead raised;
          4. The Shekinah glory of God in the temple
          5. Hear the voice of God speaking from heaven.
        3. We too, are often tempted to show contempt to the service of God.
          1. When we use the best of our time for our own leisure; yet have little or no time for the service of God.
          2. When we give our best energies to our friends, families and pleasure; yet cannot volunteer our service to God.
          3. When we withhold our money from the Lord’s treasury and give only what is left over or what we do not want.
          4. When we offer service to the Lord, but in a reluctant and flippant way.
          5. When we show total disregard for the name Seventh-day Adventists; feeling that we can freely mingle with the world without any consequences.
          6. When we show irreverence to the sanctuary and service of God, feeling that God doesn’t see. Maybe because God doesn’t destroy anyone by fire, as He did in days of old.
          7. When we make commitments to the service of God; then flippantly change our minds without any regards to the effect it has on God’s service.
          8. When we pledge the best and give the worst.
          9. When we have much and sacrifice little (Malachi 1:14).
          10. When we show total disregard for the sacredness of marriage by practicing fornication and adultery in lusting and flirting.
          11. BUT, GOD IS NOT ASLEEP
  3. In response, God promised three (3) things:
    1. HE WILL SEND A REVIVAL
      1. Malachi 3:1-7—
        1. I will send My messenger—John the Baptist
          1. John the Baptist did a great work of reform to prepare the people to receive Jesus.
          2. Those who listened to John the Baptist were prepared to receive Jesus when He came.
        2. The Messenger of the Covenant—Jesus Christ
          1. “To sit as a refiner and purifier of silver to purify the sons of Levi”
          2. “But who may abide the day of His coming?”
        3. He spent 3½ years working on the lives of these men who received Him, purifying and cleansing them.
        4. Acts 2:1-5—Indeed this prophecy was fulfilled, when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.
        5. 1 Peter 2:4-10—God did have a people who offered unto Him an offering in righteousness
      2. Application:
        1. God will send a revival of true godliness in these last days.
          1. Great Controversy, 464
          2. Malachi 4:5, 6
        2. This is what we are praying and seeking for today.
    2. Secondly, HE WILL WRITE A BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE FOR THOSE WHO TALK AND THOUGHT ON HIS NAME.
      1. Malachi 3:16-17
      2. He will write up a book of Remembrance for those who feared and thought upon His name, even in the midst of those who show contempt to it. “He will take care that his children perish not with those that believe not” (Matthew Henry).
      3. God still sees (2 Chronicles 16:9) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him . . ."
      4. Malachi 4:2—“The Sun of Righteousness. . .”
    3. HE WILL DESTROY THE WICKED
      1. Malachi 4:1, 2
      2. The same fire that cleanses the people of God, will destroy the wicked
      3. Remember the
        1. sons of Eli (1 Samuel 2:12, 17, 22)
          1. They robbed the offering from the people and
          2. Slept with the women that came to worship
        2. and Aaron.
          1. Offered strange fire upon the altar of the Lord.
          2. Drank alcohol and came to offer service to God.
        3. God destroyed them all.
    4. Conclusion
      1. Therefore, we need to show respect to the service of God.
      2. Things may not appear as was in days of old, but God still sees.
      3. God still rewards faithfulness; He still requires our best.
      4. That is why we need a revival among us; we need the Holy Spirit in our lives.


Resource Info

Access this Resource